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Breaking 90 - the "easiest" way?


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The best thing I did was move up to the senior tees! Lots of good advice here, gleaned as much as I could. I use to be the guy who never played the driver for like 6 years when I started, I didn't trust it enough. Now I play a 13.5* driver, so maybe I am still playing a 3 wood? The worst thing I did that caused so many strokes was trying to lift the ball instead of hitting down on it. This has to be the hacker's Achilles. When I catch people doing it, I point it out to them. One time the group I joined was rather pissed at this, as their buddy started winning. I didn't play with them again!

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The best thing I did was move up to the senior tees! Lots of good advice here, gleaned as much as I could. I use to be the guy who never played the driver for like 6 years when I started, I didn't trust it enough. Now I play a 13.5* driver, so maybe I am still playing a 3 wood? The worst thing I did that caused so many strokes was trying to lift the ball instead of hitting down on it. This has to be the hacker's Achilles. When I catch people doing it, I point it out to them. One time the group I joined was rather pissed at this, as their buddy started winning. I didn't play with them again!

 

+1 Sr tees - On certain courses, it is so much better. Having viewed this thread, it got me thinking. Why not hit shots we know we can hit, even if it is not what we are supposed to do. This includes laying up past 160 approach shots, punching irons on the fairway, guiding tees shots etc. Some of the players will cringe at this. But, I am excited to try the breaking 90 approach. I have broken 90. But, not consistently.

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While I'm fortunately no longer in the trying-to-break-90 camp, I remember how frustrating that stage of my golf progression was. I feel for you guys, and those who say "well just don't hit the clubs you can't hit consistently" just really don't really get it. In my case when I was shooting mid-90s it wasn't because I didn't have the shots or that there were certain clubs I couldn't hit consistently, it was more like every shot I hit was a game of Russian Roulette. I might hit a beautiful 6i from 185 into the green on the 6th only to blade a soft 9i from 140 20 yards over the green on the 7th. Then on the 8th I'd be in the greenside rough in regulation, lay sod over one, and then catch one thin and leave it 30ft past the hole on the next.

 

You really just can't course manage for that kind of stuff. In my case it wasn't that I was attempting stupid shots with a 2/10 success rate, it was that even the easiest of shots could still fail spectacularly 2 or 3 times out of 10. If you are like I was (and I think a fair number are) the only way to get past it consistently isn't to learn to play around your weaknesses, it's to learn to hit the ball in a reasonably consistent fashion so that you don't have to worry about the spots on the course that the designer never figured would be in play.

Amen to this. The only way to shoot lower scores consistently is to actually get better. Low-hanging fruit are putting and chipping, those can usually be improved fastest, but there's a limit to how many strokes you can save that way. Long term, learning how to make consistently better full-swing shots is the way to improve. Fewer bad shots, and the bad shots are less horrible.

 

I agree with this. While there are some golfers who leave strokes on the course due to consistently bad decisions, in my experience this is not the norm out there. Most are shooting 'bad scores' because they hit bad shots and hitting bad shots 'somewhere else' or 'bad shots with different clubs or line of play' really isn't the answer here. Not always, but mostly (at least with the guys I play with).

 

dave

 

First of all, I admire your neighborhood. What a historical place. If I can trade Southern California weather with you, it would be heaven.

 

Most of hackers like myself normally do not practice. So bad shots are norm of round. In addition, bad decision making adds more strokes on the scorecard.

 

However, lately I have been able to break 90s multiple times using 4-4-4 system along with placing balls in safer & fatter part of course, 70% rule and no score adding till the end of the round. I still have bad shots in every round but now they are manageable, not fatal. It is all done without spending time at range like the title of this thread.

 

Now that my next goal is to break 85 consistently, I must spend some time at driving range at least few hours a week.

 

What is the 4-4-4 system?

 

It indeed is revised format of Golf Sidekick's 6-6-6 system.

  • 4 GIR
  • 4 Up & Down
  • 4 Double bogey or worse

 

So far so good. I broke 90 3 times out of last 5 rounds.

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The best thing I did was move up to the senior tees!

Two problems with that:
  1. Not possible in competitions unless it's a rare 'play with the ladies' comp like we sometimes have.
  2. That's not really testing or improving yourself. It's more like avoiding the issue or admitting defeat.

A possible 3rd problem is that some of us like playing golf regardless of the score. Moving to shorter tees means a shorter course means fewer golf swings and less enjoyment. I like swinging a golf club and I don't care if I'm playing 50% longer than my skill justifies.

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I know some of you keep suggesting "move up a tee box" some what in jest.

 

There is a popular school of thought, that if you were to play the ladies tees, while trying as hard as you can to score, that although you might not want to count it as "breaking 90" it would encourage you to emphasize strokes gained due to proximity to the hole and short game which could catapult you bye this mental hump.

 

It's mostly mental, trust me. I've shot 73 a dozen times in the last 2 years on at least 4 different golf courses and can't shave the last stroke to get to level par. 100% mental. I simply cannot convince myself that I'm good enough to do it, same as you. Probably one of the best things we could both do is to stop focusing on the score and just play.

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The best thing I did was move up to the senior tees!

Two problems with that:
  1. Not possible in competitions unless it's a rare 'play with the ladies' comp like we sometimes have.
  2. That's not really testing or improving yourself. It's more like avoiding the issue or admitting defeat.

A possible 3rd problem is that some of us like playing golf regardless of the score. Moving to shorter tees means a shorter course means fewer golf swings and less enjoyment. I like swinging a golf club and I don't care if I'm playing 50% longer than my skill justifies.

 

I can't even begin to address all that I find askew about this post.

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The best thing I did was move up to the senior tees!

Two problems with that:
  1. Not possible in competitions unless it's a rare 'play with the ladies' comp like we sometimes have.
  2. That's not really testing or improving yourself. It's more like avoiding the issue or admitting defeat.

A possible 3rd problem is that some of us like playing golf regardless of the score. Moving to shorter tees means a shorter course means fewer golf swings and less enjoyment. I like swinging a golf club and I don't care if I'm playing 50% longer than my skill justifies.

 

I can't even begin to address all that I find askew about this post.

 

Even if you can't begin, why not try harder and explain anyway.

 

dave

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Easiest way to break 90 ?

 

Golf often with a single digit index holder whom does not boom his drive over 260 yards. observe and learn. Then improve on the skills you're lacking to copy the game.

 

Basically it'll boil down to stop the bleeding, by not having blow up holes ( or minimize it ). Learn to get out of trouble with practice.

High handicap index holders usually have several blow up holes in a round, learn how to minimize making mistake which will result in a high number score on any hole. Learn the shots to get out of trouble , by practice. When I was fairly new to the game, I would be excited to get in difficult spots like sand bunker, ball lying in the divot in the fairway, under a tree , behind an obstacle....... while my playing partners would complain of the lie and some would "move" the golf ball out of a fairway divot claiming the divot should be filled or not fair because it was a fairway hit.... I love it because it'll give me chance to practice those difficult shots.

 

That's the time I gained confidence in hitting a low floating shot or a different type of bunker shot from different types of sand . I remember long ago when I hit a nice tee shot on the last hole in, found the golf ball sitting in a divot about 1/2" deep, my playing partner came over and said to me, too bad , do you want to declare unplayable ? I remembered I had practice this shot so went ahead and hit a great shot to the green. That shuts them up because there was multiple skins riding on that hole, they were so shook up they all missed the birdie putts, guess who made his ?

 

So embrace the chance when golf God gives you a chance to practice a "situation" golf shot. When you are not afraid of getting into sand or rough or under a tree....... you'll break 90, easy !

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It took a long time till I broke 90. I had to keep changing my bag to do it. The golf course makes the biggest difference, and some are a real challenge. You need to first find a golf course that helps your game and consistency. Next find a large headed 3 wood that is known to be great off the tee foremost, not the fairway and use a 5 wood for fairway shots. Chipping and putting are the game changers, you must put in the practice to get them to a decent level. After that dial in your 7 iron and become very consistent with it. Do all this and you should have it and start breaking 90 more often. After many years I finally dropped the three wood as a driver, but I still play a high lofted driver. Now I am trying to break 80, and have shot 81 from the whites.

Ping G Max 10.5

Ping G425 5 wd 

Cobra F9 7 wd

Ping G410 4, 5, & 6 hybrid

Cobra F9 6-pw

Ping Glide 50*

MD5 54* 10ss

Toulon Columbus

 

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Years ago I had a couple long threads in this forum on my attempts to break 100 and then 90. They are still there if you search for them. I read a lot of books and really liked the How to Break 100 and How to break 90 ones. I also took a lot of lessons. What I found is it took me years to get good enough to break 100 and I think I broke 90 within a few months of that. I started out teeing off with a 7w in an attempt to get off the tee and keep it in play and I was using driver by the end of it.

 

The hardest part was cracking the 100 barrier because it was a barrier in my mind and I had to learn to mature my mental game and shrug things off. It was dealing with the self inflicted stress and getting out of my own way. Once I got over that hump and cracked 100, 90 was easy. I had the mental game for it and by that point I could get off the tee in an okay manner and I just played golf one shot at a time. I also used to play a lot which is also a key for me.

 

So the easiest way to learn to break 90 for me was to get the basics down such as getting off the tee, getting close with my approach, and scraping by with my lack luster short game followed by the mental discipline to not go off the rails and just play. I was trying to break 100 but breaking 90 felt like it just happened. It's hard to explain and I took up golf late in life and am not a natural athlete of any sort. I also think the easiest path to break 90 for other people will be different.

 

I haven't played much in a few years so I can't break 90 right now but I will once I start playing again with some frequency. I've seen enough flashes of my old game to know it's not gone, just buried under years of rust.

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andrue, I am 62 and senior tees are indeed allowed. Will be playing them tomorrow in a tourny.

It's allowed but it's unusual and complicates the process. At least in England.

 

"In order to maintain equity in determining the prize winners in these competitions the Playing Handicaps of some of the competitors may require to be adjusted to provide a Competition Handicap Allowance. In Qualifying Competitions any adjustment to generate the Competition Handicap Allowance must be applied for competition result purposes only, so that the competition retains its qualifying status. The adjusted Competition Handicap Allowance must not be used to establish the Competition Scratch Score or for the purpose of handicap alteration. Competitions in which competitors play from different tees in Qualifying Competitions may be in three formats – medal stroke play, Stableford and par/bogey."

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Well said. The absolute easiest way to break 90 is getting lucky. That's the thick and thin of it. Get lucky. Now, doing it consistently, that's a whole other story.

 

1. Learn to chip with a 9 or even 8 iron as stated before. For those up hill skirt chips that you're worried about stabbing, use a hybrid and chip with that. Definitely practice this a lot at the range. I can't tell you how much this is like cheating.

2. Crossfield said it best in recommendation to putting. Putt shorts amount of time very often. Every day at your house for 5 ish minutes at a time. Do it with and without balls to check your alignment and path etc.

3. If you have a fade on the day of playing then play with it. Don't try and fix and fix and fix. You're not a pro. Play a stock shot and keep playing it.

4. Always use more club but swing easier. Bulletproof method.

5. Breathe and have fun. Even if you somehow go out after 5 rounds under 90 and you find yourself back in the 100's for a round, just remember that we all have bad days.

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Eliminate triples and doubles, reduce/eliminate 3-putts. Once you start playing mostly par-bogies and throw in an occasional birdie, you have a good chance. I'm 64, drive the ball 230-ish (which means I'm not long off the tee), got switched to graphites by fitter, and shoot 9-of-10 rounds in 80's from 6,000 yrds. I've made a couple of 81's this year (unfortunately, in MGA's, ..... they be on my handicap list for 1 yr, lol), several 82-83's, and bunches of 85-88's. Play smart, no 'hero' shots, and you'll get there. I have a lot of par/bogie-saves from off the green that help. My short game is pretty decent and love an iron shot within 100 yrds.

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If you can get away off most tees with a decent shot then do nothing else other than work on your game from 120 yards in .

 

When I play with high handicappers the first few things that are evident is course management, trying to pull off high percentage recovery shots instead of limiting damage.

They have this innate ability to think that they can hit a 230-240yrd 3 wood from the rough even though their tee shot with a driver has only travelled 200 yards.

 

More often than not anyone shooting in the 90s has a fair share of 3 putts and maybe even a 4 putt or two.

Work on lag putting and also putts from at least 8ft and in. When chipping green side with no danger and plenty of green leave the high lofted wedges in the bag and become proficient with bump and runs with 7 iron to PW.

65% of all shots in a round regardless of handicap are from 120 yrds and in.

Master these and you'll be knocking on the door of rounds in the 70's not 90's.

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as constantly breaking 90s (66%), I find the followings:

  • Try to drive your ball short of hazard, never over it. At our level, consistency is low. Therefore, if there is a fairway bunker on the left at 220 yds out, drive to the right about 210 yds or under.
  • Shorter club produces more manageable mistakes. nowadays I drive with 3 wood or hybrids. Yes they go shorter but the misshot is not fatal anymore. In most par 4 holes for example, I could put it on 3 and make a par or bogey.
  • Try to place ball near the green/hole. It relieves you from stress and helps you focus on your swing.
  • Self-destructing comments/thoughts produce one bad strokes after another. be positive and have fun. focus on the next great stroke; one stroke makes big difference and pulls you out of misery.
  • Forget about your score. I do not add up the score until the round is over. I do not focus and dread on bad holes. I focus on the next stroke and the next hole. if you are analytical, do it after the round, never during the round.

if you are committed, you must develop decent chip & putt, especially short putts (6 ft and under).

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